Nikki, Jimmy and Aurora

7th Dec, 2023

Left to right: Aurora, Jimmy and Nikki

Written by Janine Kelly

Professional photography by Strike a Pose Studios

We adopted Jimmy from CLAW in February this year after the loss of our dear mixed-breed dog, Bruce. We still have our older dog, Nikki, so we wanted to get her some company.

We really don’t know anything about Jimmy. He was handed in as a stray and is an adult, over two years old, and is amazing with all others. He’s very good with our cats and even the rabbits. He gets on well with all other dogs, big or small, young and old, and he makes dog friends easily. He can run up a storm in our local dog park and loves his longer weekend walks at Emmarentia and Delta parks here in Johannesburg.

Jimmy adores Nikki, plays with her and is great company for her, but we decided to adopt another younger dog. So, after another long hunt, we found Aurora. She’s from FORA. We also know nothing about her other than that she was a stray in Krugersdorp. She’s also an adult of over two years of age, and we’ve had her for just on three months or so now. She’s very similar to Jimmy in temperament, is confident, happy, and also amazing with all others. She also shares his dislike for water. She’s very well socialised (thanks to FORA) and a complete joy in the dog park. Aurora likes to stay close to us on walks, usually walking alongside us with Nikki.

We’ve always done all our rescues with MuttMix and decided to do our newest two family members. As a bet, we asked all our friends and family what the results would be.

Jimmy’s MuttMix Results:

        Level 1         German Shepherd Dog

        Level 4         Bullmastiff

        Level 4         Belgian Malinois

Aurora’s MuttMix Results:

        Level 2         Belgian Malinois

        Level 4         Boston Terrier

        Level 4         Coton de Tulear

We weren’t so surprised to see German Shepherd Dog in Jimmy – a few of us had guessed it. What did come as the surprise was just how much GSD is in him. He really looks like a GSD; the problem is, he’s small – really small – when compared to a pure-bred GSD. Jimmy’s only knee height, about the same size as a Boston Terrier, and looks very similar to a Sheltie. I always joked he was just a GSD that got shrunk in a hot wash, I just didn’t realise how true it was. The only thing I noticed in him is that he has the small-dog strong tendency to bark and he’s incredibly scent-driven. We had him at the vet just after we got him with a bad snore, sneezing and other nasty nasal symptoms only to eventually find out he simply had a case of “overuse of the nose”. He does have the smart and sensitive temperaments of the GSD and can be wary of strangers.

As for Aurora, not one of us got close. I have to admit that when her results came back with such a strong heritage to Belgium Malinois, I can really see it now. Her body shape is like a small Malinois and she has a deep red and black muzzle. She’s very fast and athletic and loves to chase a ball. But, just like Jimmy, she’s small, being only a centimetre or so taller than him. Unlike Jimmy she doesn't bark unless there’s a real need. She’s happiest when she’s close and likes to sleep under my desk while I work. She’s very smart and easy to train. Aurora isn’t a fan of water, and neither is Jimmy.

Our Nikki came from Wet Nose Animal Rescue Centre many years ago. She was dumped and had puppies a few days later. She was a really good mom and all her puppies were adopted. Her MuttMix results still make us laugh. The only thing that fits her is the GSD in appearance. She has a strong tendency to put on weight and she loves her food. She’s quite a bit bigger than the other two and might well share the whippet lower energy lapdog-type style. Nikki has never been one for exercise and is happy to take the shortest routes. She’s also good with all others. Her social skills in the dog park in the beginning weren’t on the level of Jimmy and Aurora, but she never had the social exposure they had at their shelters. Nikki’s just a good old fluffy teddy bear and is a gentle-natured, happy, easy-going girl.

Nikki’s MuttMix Results:

        Level 2         Italian Greyhound

        Level 4         German Shepherd Dog

        Level 4         Bichon Frise

        Level 5         Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier

All three of them are snuggle babies and group cuddles are common in our house.

We love our rescues. I also enjoy getting adult rescues – I love to see them settle, and how they adjust and relish comforts they probably didn’t have when they were growing up. And I can’t say enough good things about the two rescues we got them from – CLAW and FORA really are just phenomenal.

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